Mayor of Tower Hamlets: I Condemn All Forms Of Violence
Monday 2nd June
The Mayor of Tower Hamlets has been defending his borough following criticism of how the recent Local and European Elections were managed.
Counting finally finished last Tuesday night after numerous delays following voting the previous Thursday.
Labour has 20 seats, but lost overall control of the council. Independent party Tower Hamlets First has 18 seats - and Lutfur Rahman from the party was re-elected as Mayor. The Conservatives have four.
One further ward, Blackwall and Cubitt Town, still needs to have three new councillors elected after polls were called off following the death of a candidate.
The council has been accused of failing to prevent voters being
intimidated outside voting stations, with some politicians saying they
witnessed crowds shouting at people as they arrived to cast their votes.
Speaking to LBC's Ken Livingstone and David Mellor, Mayor Rahman denied the accusations - pointing out that there was in increased Police presence in the area at the time.
"The police did a fantastic job in Tower Hamlets," he said.
"I have full confidence in the police, full confidence in the Electoral Commission and electoral services."
He told Ken and David that he saw supporters from all parties outside polling stations, likening the atmosphere to that of a festival.
One of Mayor Rahman's former advisers Kazin Zaidi made headlines last week after a blog post claimed that if the watchdog gets involved in Tower Hamlets 'a civil war that started in Labour risks spilling onto the streets.'
"I condemn all forms of violence," Mayor Rahman said of the comments. "Kazim Zaidi is a good man. His choice of words were very inappropriate."